Influencer Marketplaces: What, Why and How?

Chronicles of the Influencer Marketplace Vol. 1 – An introduction to the New World

Let’s begin this post with one question – What comes to your mind when you think of an influencer?

While you think about that, grab a coffee because we’ll be going through everything you need to know about influencer marketplaces. In today’s post, we’ll be exploring a few things in particular:

What are influencer marketplaces?
Why is an influencer marketplace beneficial to brands?
How should we start?

But before we begin, let’s take a look at changes in the influencer landscape thus far.

Some Background Information:

If you were born in the 90s and early 2000s (as was I), you’d probably be thinking about a different set of people as compared to what our parents would have thought of. The fact is, the definition of an “influencer” has changed throughout time. In the past, celebrities and politicians would probably be considered the only influential people since they held titles, had positions of authority and were in the public eye.

20 years on, the definition has broadened to include people who are perceived to have expertise in their various industries. This essentially means that more and more people qualify as influencers in their own right and have followings of their own who trust and respect their opinions.

What this means for marketers is an entire shift in tactics and strategies when employing a brand’s spokesperson. Instead of getting famous singers like Taylor Swift to endorse your makeup line, it may be a wiser choice to employ YouTube and/or Instagram personalities like Jaclyn Hill. Despite a smaller following, her niche in the arena would mean that people trust her views on makeup more. Her personable nature as a social media icon would mean that engagement with her fans may also be well above that of a popular celebrity.

In that case, what can marketers do to get the best out of their campaigns?

Therein lies the beauty and capabilities of an influencer marketplace.

What is an Influencer Marketplace?

There has been no set definition (thus far) on what an influencer marketplace is. Based on what has come up in the influencer marketing industry, it is a place where influencers and brands meet to further each other’s goals.

In fact, there are actually many different types of influencer marketplaces as well. Some adopt an “opt in” method where influencers (ranging from 2000 followers to upwards of 100 000) are allowed to sign up and choose the brands they wish to work with. Brands are also able to pick which influencer they want to work with and can pick among the pool available on that marketplace. When both the influencer and brand agree to work together, a decision is made and a beautiful collaboration starts – hence the term “Marketplace”.

Other platforms may be more stringent in their selection processes and only allow certain “vetted” influencers into the marketplace so that brands have access to the cream of the crop.

Of course, there are pros and cons to every marketplace. There has been some criticism on both the marketplaces mentioned above. More of that will be discussed in a later post, but let’s move ahead with the knowledge we have for now.

Why is an Influencer Marketplace Beneficial to Brands?

Here, we start the conversation with the assumption that influencer marketing is already dominating the marketing landscape. In such a world filled with countless influencers, picking the right one for your brand is extremely essential. Mind you, the “right one” isn’t always the one with the most followers. Many other things should be taken into account when picking the right influencer for your brand, such as the influencer’s audience demographics, engagement rate and much more. (Which is also why you should utilize data analytics to aid your brand in picking the best fit, something that Popular Chips can definitely help you with *wink*).

That being said, an influencer marketplace provides you with convenience, variety and perspective (just to name a few positive impacts).

The convenience that comes from using an influencer marketplace lies in the pool of influencers that are readily accessible. Depending on the different sorting functions in that marketplace, you can generate a list of relevant Influencers that you may want to collaborate with in a matter of clicks. Much easier and definitely more efficient than scrolling through hundreds of profiles.

The variety of influencers on the marketplace is another factor that should be appreciated on such platforms. Brands usually go for more prominent influencers and let’s be real – there are only that many big names in each industry. I mean, think about the amount of ice cream I could have gotten if I gained a dollar for each video collaboration PewDiePie has done… but I digress. The point is, you get influencers with vastly different numbers of followers readily available for your perusal. Like I mentioned previously, the big names aren’t always where the money’s at these days. Micro-influencers can be equally effective, depending on what your goals are.

Tied closely to the variety of influencers would be the benefit of an added perspective. The bigger influencers have a certain “style” of producing their videos and/or posts. That’s not to say that it hasn’t worked out for them, but at times, it can seem pretty repetitive and formulaic. With an influencer marketplace, what you’ll get is the benefit of seeing creativity at its finest. You’ll be able to see different influencers and many different types of creative executions in their posts. You may even be able to find someone whose creativity catches your eye.

How Should We Start?

Now that we’ve seen what influencer marketplaces can do for brands, it’s time to go sign up for an account on an influencer marketplace, right? Not so fast!

Sure, these platforms are great, but I wouldn’t suggest that anyone dive into it head first.

What brands can try to do is to understand themselves a little more first. Look into the goals that you are trying to achieve in your future collaborations and start figuring out the kinds of creative campaigns you would like to work on. Only then can you begin to select the types of influencers who would best suit your theme.

I look forward to sharing the top influencer marketplaces with everyone in a post that’s coming your way soon. In the mean time, do check out this article on Kylie Jenner and how she now has the most expensive Instagram posts.

What are your thoughts on influencer marketplaces? Do you agree with what has been written? We’d love to hear from you and understand your views on this!

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